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A New Year to Follow the Lord

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It must be around 25 when I started to count my age and realize how little time I have left on earth.  When I was younger I never thought like this.  We all think we will live forever.  As one year passes, I realized that time is short.  In April, I am turning 34.  In a blink of an eye, I will be turning 44.  Who knows (well, God knows) that I might not live to then?  No one can predict their time on earth.  As Francis Chan said, ‘each one of us has a time stamp when the Lord created us.’

The question I asked myself lately, it ain’t as much where I want to go, where I want to eat, or what new toys I want to get.  Rather, I am asking myself am I investing for the Kingdom?  I know it sounds so weird.  Yes, Kingdom of God is important.  But really? What does it mean? In the whole grand scheme of things, if I am going follow Jesus and be His disciples, how important it is to do His Work in sharing the Good News, in helping the poor and in taeching others His ways?  The answer is easy, VERY IMPORTANT.

Last Sunday, the pastor preached on the First Ressurecction (Revlation 21).  He warned us that we better be sure we are going to make it to heaven because eternity is a long time to regret.  I remembered what Jesus said in Matthew 25 using the parable of the Ten Virgins.  There were ten virgins waiting to meet the bridegroom at night.  Each of them has a lamp.  Five of them were wise and took oil for their lamps. The other five were foolish and didn’t bring any oil.  As the foolish virgins went out to buy oil, the bridegroom came and the foolish virgins missed the wedding banquet.

At the end of the Parable, Jesus reminded His disciples to keep watch.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.Matthew 25:13 NIV

We are called to keep watch.  I will admit that anticipating for Jesus to come back is not always on top of my priority.  Yesterday, I told my friend that we probably don’t think Jesus will come back any time soon.  Afterall, it is already 2000 plus years since His Ressurecction and Ascendsion to heaven.  Really? He will come back anytime now?

If we sit down and see the things we worry and the things we focus on on our list, I can easily say that most of them are for this life time.  Maybe retirement (that’s about 30 years from now).  Maybe getting a car (that’s within a year or two if you are working).  Maybe finishing University (3-4 years).  Or getting married (a few years depending on the stage of your relationship).

You might think surely these are practical things we need to be mindful on.   Of course, they are.  What I seeing is that these shouldn’t always be top priority of our lives.  Yes, they are important but they are secondary importance.

So what does it mean to keep watch?  We can go back to what Jesus said before He left earth…

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

When we see what happened afterwards in the Book of Acts, we see that there’s a great urgency to preach the Gospel until the end of the earth.  The disciples were focus and filled with passion.  They had urgency.

Lately, this is what I’ve been praying and discerning.  That I too have this urgency.  Wouldn’t it be a shame when I see Jesus and He asked me what I have done for His Kingdom and I can’t show anything?  This is my on going prayer for 2014 and onwards as well.  I need to keep pressing in and keep seeking so that one day I can hear the words, ‘good and faithful servant.’

On the first day of 2014, Wai Jia and I prayed together.  We gave thanks for how the Lord worked in our lives in the last year.  I prayed for us to be bold and courageous as we are stepping into 2014.  There will be many changes and transitions.   There will be many challenges as well.  At the same time, there are many opportunities for us to prepare and to do His Work :).

Time is short.  Let’s make the best of it.

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